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Chain reaction

A chain reaction is a sequence of reactions where a reactive product or biproduct causes more additional reactions.

Examples:

  • The neutron-fission chain reaction: a neutron plus a fissionable atom causes a fission resulting in a larger number of neutrons than was consumed in the initial reaction.
  • Chemical reactions, where a product of a reaction is itself a reactive particle which can cause more similar reactions. For example, every step of H2 + Cl2 chain reaction consumes one molecule of H2 or Cl2, one free radical H or Cl producing one HCl molecule and another free radical.

See also

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